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Reclaiming localisation for revitalising agriculture: A case study of peri-urban agricultural change in Gothenburg, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
Number of Authors: 2
2016 (English)In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 47, 172-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agriculture near urban landscapes has recently been re-appreciated with the recognition of its economic, social and environmental contributions. However, rapid urbanisation and global agricultural restructuring constituting complex processes across multiple scales tend to threaten the survival of peri-urban agriculture. Focusing on family farms near Gothenburg in Sweden, this paper intends to explore the. relations between location and agriculture and how family farms have been able to continue farming in peri-urban areas. Unlike previous studies of peri-urban agriculture, mostly carried out by planners from an urban-centric perspective, this paper deploys a rural and place-based perspective by drawing on theories of agricultural location. Based on statistical and spatial analyses of land use change, and interviews with farmers and authorities, the processes and drivers of local agricultural change are analysed. The results identify four simultaneous processes that produce the diversity in forms of agriculture between farms: structural changes, loss of farmland to urban expansion, specialisation of on-farm activities and a niching trend of on-farm activities. The new findings which shed light on the theory of agricultural localisation are: 1) niche production greatly takes advantage of the pea-urban location; 2) a reverse von Thunen's transportation pattern is enabled by the proximity to urban consumers; 3) enhancing competitive advantage through saving labour costs is enabled by the direct relation to consumers at the peri-urban location; 4) multifunctional agriculture has potential but also raises conflicts between different types of land use in ped-urban areas; 5) a secured access to land for farmers enabled by the local governance which separates the increasing land value from land rent is fundamental for supporting continued peri-urban agriculture. Our recommendation is that policy makers need to shift to a location-sensitive governing praxis of agriculture in order to re-vitalise pea-urban areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 47, 172-185 p.
Keyword [en]
Agricultural location, Peri-urban agriculture, Agricultural transitions, von Thunen, Family farms, Land tenure
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-136149DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.07.013ISI: 000386645600016OAI: diva2:1050780
Available from: 2016-11-30 Created: 2016-11-29 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Wästfelt, AndersZhang, Qian
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